Protest at Mexican mine over alleged pollution

Oaxaca –  Activists used barricades, sand and rocks to blockade a gold and silver mine in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca over allegations the facility is polluting underground aquifers.

Members of the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca, or APPO, and the Coordinator of the United Peoples of the Ocotlan Valley are demanding that the state government order a suspension of activity at the mine in San Juan del Progreso, a town about 30 kilometers (18 miles) from Oaxaca city.

The mine is operated by Compania Minera Cuzcatlan S.A. De C.V., whose majority owner is Canada’s Fortuna Silver Mines Inc.

“The mine is polluting, and will continue polluting, our rivers and aquifers, as we have already opposed it on various occasions, but now we want the new (state) government to heed us and intervene,” protest leader Bernardo Vasquez Sanchez said.

Oaxaca Gov. Gabino Cue, who took office Jan. 1, “must be consistent with his discourse,” Vasquez said. “He (the governor) has said he will listen to the communities, and we say ‘no’ to the exploitation of the mine.”

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